The Greek Community of Metropolitan Detroit will celebrate their 13th Annual Greek Independence Day on Sunday, April 6, 2014, with a parade in downtown Detroit. The parade will start at 3:00 p.m. and will proceed on Monroe St. from Woodward Ave. to the heart of Detroit’s Historic Greektown. The parade will be led by Metropolitan Nicholas of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit, George Reganis, the Detroit Greek Parade President.
“Each year the Greek Community awaits for this annual parade with great anticipation, excitement and pride. It is a demonstration of the legacy of Hellenism and the preservation of the Greek culture”, said Metropolitan Nicholas. Dignitaries including representatives of local, state and federal government will also join these officials.
Prior to the parade, a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation will take place at 10:00 a.m. at the Annunciation Cathedral, 707 East Lafayette Blvd. in Greektown.
A press conference and reception for all honored guests will be held at 1:30 p.m. inside the lobby of the Atheneum Suite Hotel in Greektown.
The weekend festivities begin on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at 5:00 p.m., with the Open House of the Hellenic Museum of Michigan.The Museum aims at preserving the heritage and the legacy of extraordinary Greek Americans who immigrated to Michigan.
The 7th Annual Hellenic Heritage Award Recipients, will also take place during this evening. The Hellenic Heritage Awards recognize those individuals who are contributing members of the community and have achieved exemplary distinction in laying the foundation of their faith and culture as they immigrated and assimilated into our society. Proceeds from Saturday’s event will go towards the support of the Hellenic Museum for future programs and current renovations.
Also participating in the parade will be over 40 marching units representing Greek Orthodox churches, cultural organizations, dance groups in colorful ethnic dress and area college student organizations from metropolitan Detroit and nearby communities including Windsor, Toledo, Flint, Saginaw, Ann Arbor and Lansing.
After the parade, a short program will be held near the end of the parade route. The American, Greek and Canadian national anthems will be sung symbolizing the strong unity of the three countries. Metropolitan Nicholas will offer prayers and remarks on Greek Independence Day. Area college leaders will represent their Greek studies departments.
Dance groups performing a variety of Greek dances over the two-day celebration will represent the various regions of Greece. Performing will be: Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, St. Clair Shores, Aristotle Hellenic Academy, Holy Cross Church, Farmington Hills, Hellenic Dance Company, Holy Trinity Church, Toledo, Hellenic Society For the Performing Arts, Kyklos Hellenic Society Dancers, Nativity of the Virgin Mary, Plymouth, Nisiotes Dancers, Omega Dancers, St. Nicholas Church, Troy, Pseloretes Cretan Dancers of Detroit, REVMA Dancers, St. Nicholas Church, Ann Arbor, Terpsichore Dancers, Windsor, ONT and the Yassoo Dancers.
Greek musical ensembles will perform the melodic music of Greece and the Greektown Merchants and restaurants look forward to hosting the many visitors expected to attend the celebration. The Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade was revived in 2001, after an absence of over 30 years. It is managed by the Detroit Greek Independence Day Committee which is a non-profit corporation. Committee members work year long in preparation for the parade and represent Hellenic organizations and churches throughout this region.
(Nick Phillips contributed to this report)